If you’re looking for some of the most unrelievedly grim and bad-ass representations of Conan the Cimmerian, check out the art of Enrique Alcatena.
Alcatena’s work often dips into surrealist inspirations, and the guy is a masterful chameleon when it comes to adding real cultural/historical details, be it African, Chinese, Southeast Asian, Arabian or Tibetan. In sheer delirious detail, Alcatena’s art reminds me of Philippe Druillet’s.
In one Conan the Savage story, he outfits Conan with a Villanovan-style helmet, a design I very rarely see in fantasy illustration but looks extremely cool.
His rendition of a Japanese setting and characters could be mistaken for the work of a manga artist like Kentaro Miura!
Hindu-Buddhist mythology seems to have exercised a strong attraction for Alcatena, as evinced in his Shankar series loosely based on a Buddhist reincarnation story.
Recently he and Ashok Banker collaborated to adapt Banker’s Prince of Ayodhya series, a retelling of the Ramayana, into a graphic novel.
Alcatena maintains a blog in Spanish, here’s a link to the Google translation (English).
All images used here save miniature photo © Enrique Alcatena.